Update on Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections

On May 29, 2014, DPD published a public review draft of our proposed code adjustments for Lowrise multifamily zones. The changes respond to community input, and are meant to make new lowrise multifamily development a better fit within neighborhoods.

The current lowrise multifamily zoning was enacted in 2010. Lowrise zoning encourages a wide variety of new housing including apartments, townhouses, and rowhouses. The zones are usually located in between mixed-use commercial and single-family zoned neighborhoods; and they play a key role in the production of new housing that can help meet growing demand. Lowrise zoning is meant to allow buildings that are 3 or 4 stories tall.

Some community groups commented that the first wave of buildings constructed under the new lowrise multifamily code were too tall or large. In October of 2013, then City Council President Sally Clark asked DPD to review building height standards in lowrise multifamily zoned areas, particularly noting concerns in the Lowrise 3 (LR3) zones and unexpected combinations of development incentives. After studying recent buildings constructed in lowrise multifamily zoned areas, DPD prepared the draft code changes. The code changes would bring the development outcomes more in line with the outcomes expected at the time of the 2010 major lowrise multifamily zoning update.

You can review the proposed code changes here: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/

In addition, DPD issued a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) for the proposed code changes. To comment during the SEPA comment period please e-mail geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle.gov by June 12.